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About The Dalles chronicle. (The Dalles, OR) 1998-2020 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 15, 2020)
Hood River News . The Dalles Chronicle | 5
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE
Th e road to the mountain starts in a two-block radius in
downtown Hood River.
Two shops — Doug’s and 2nd Wind Sports, are competitors
yet collaborators in providing for locals’ and visitors’ snow gear
needs. Both sell new gear and rent a wide range of equipment
for beginners to advanced racers.
Th e needs the two shops meet run the gamut: From repair
of skis damaged to the core, to a set of new stickers to cover
up the old ones on a just-purchased consignment snowboard.
On a given day you might fi nd technicians Seamus McMorrow
at 2nd Wind or Andrew Boyle at Doug’s repairing or
refurbishing snowboard surfaces, ski treads or edges (skis
do have treads, not unlike tires). Th ey could be rewaxing a
board or repairing rust on a ski edge or burrs, nicks, or other
damage be it cosmetic or severe, or resolving an issue with
“Ski boots are pretty technical, a big part is the integrity of the
DIN sole,” the square or rectangular part at the toe of the boot,
Erika Gerald of 2nd Wind said boot upgrades are often
required because the liner has worn or become compacted
“You don’t want your foot moving around inside the boot,”
Both stores have new gear for sale as well as rental services.
New snow has changed conditions and brings changing ski and
board needs, according to the gear shop folks.
“Now people are coming in with their skis they didn’t want
to fi x because they were skiing on them,” Doug’s shop manager
Sam Benoit said. “I just got a pair in that were damaged early
season, they skied hard on them, and now they want to switch
Gear shop work: Sam Benoit of Doug’s talks on
the phone in the shop reception area; behind him
are 1960s and 1970s skis and snowboards on display
(gear has changed radically since then); Andrew
Boyle of Doug’s checks in rental gear; 2nd Wind
owner Erika Gerald talks with Carrington Barr and
his daughter, Sydney, as they shop for new boots.
Photos by Kirby Neumann-Rea
over to bigger mountain powder skis and these are coming into
the shop for a tune.”
“With low snowpack in December we had a lot of core shots,
where the (ski’s) base material is removed and the core is
exposed,” Benoit said. “Th at’s a problem because moisture can
“Water is like cancer to skis,” Boyle said. “Once it gets in it
causes worse damage if left untreated. Like any wound, you
need to treat it right away to keep it from getting worse.”
With plenty of new snow on the mountain, what keeps 2nd
Wind staff busy these days is “Mostly everything,” joked Erika,
who owns the shop with her husband, Pepe.
“Th is has defi nitely been our busiest time,” said Pepe.
2nd Wind, at State and Second streets, and Doug’s, at First
and Oak, both sell a wide range of gear and garments, and 2nd
Wind is a long-time purveyor of consignment goods.
“Tuneup work is like taking care of your car,” Benoit said.
“You slide better when wax is right and your edges are taken
care of, especially on hard pack: Proper waxing equals better
A hot wax treatment takes 24-48 hours, Boyle said. “We’re
pretty backed up on these, like all the shops.”
Benoit and owner John Moleski remodeled the space last
year, installing new fl oors and counters, and space-saving gear
racks, Benoit built new benches and re-faced the counters.
“If people came in even in the spring, this was diff erent, a
whole diff erent confi guration,” Benoit said. Doug’s installed
a self-service check-in computer station, allowing customers
to create an account or go to an existing one to place an
order for rental equipment. It uses the Easy Rent system by
Wintersteiger, creating a digital library with records of each
customer rental history, to be retained at least seven years.
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WAS H I N GTON #ALLE N F W 9 97 J Q
2nd Wind’s shop is in the rear of the store, next to new and
consignment gear ranging from boots and poles to snowboards
and skis of all dimensions, as well as snowshoes.
Doug’s shop entry is off First Street, where you can get
repairs, and rent all manner of snow sport gear, including
helmets and snowshoes. Doug’s sells garments and gear on
the main level and basement.
Th e shops have in common a plethora of selection spread
over multiple store levels. And located two blocks apart, they
have a neighborly relationship.
Benoit said, “it’s really great having 2nd Wind in town.
One thing we do really well is to help each other.”
“Sam and Pepe talk all the time,” added manager Dana
“If I don’t have it or I don’t have the timeline to meet their
needs, we send them over. Th e biggest goal for us. between the
shops, is to keep people local, and for people to know that local
shops can provide them what they need,” Benoit said.
“We’re defi nitely competitors when it comes to retail, but
with repair we defi nitely work with them a lot,” Pepe Gerald
said, “and sometimes with retail. We’re checking in with each
other every day asking how things are going, what are you
seeing and are there ways to help each other out. If someone
comes here looking for a particular binding, if they’d be better
served at Second Wind or by Bob Olsen up at Mt. Hood Racing
(in the town of Mt. Hood) or Meadows and even Timberline,
we’ll give them a call. We’re most interested in ensuring
people’s needs are satisfi ed locally, and I’d rather they go a
couple blocks to another brick and mortar rather than going
on line to Amazon. I’m really glad Doug’s is here.”
He gave the example of goggles — “We don’t carry
Oakley but if they really don’t want a Smith then we send
them to Doug’s.”